Ensuring a better response for victims of child sex trafficking

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“We are throwing a lifeline to these victims of human trafficking by providing them real resources to help them, to help first rescue them, and then to help them heal. This is a good day for the United States Senate because we’re doing the right thing for people who have no voice.”

– Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

After weeks of impasse, the Senate acted with a true show of bipartisanship and passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA). Thanks to an agreement reached earlier in the week by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), previous issues of contention were resolved and the path was cleared to pass this important legislation. As a result of the Cornyn/Murray compromise, $60M will go towards fighting human trafficking and providing funding for services for victims.

We are pleased to report the passage of another ECPAT-USA priority: Senator Rob Portman’s (R-OH) “Ensuring a Better Response for Victims of Child Sex Trafficking” (S.Amdt 1128) which amends the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act so that child victims of sex trafficking are rightfully considered victims of child abuse.

Also of note, the passage of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) “Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act” (S.Amdt 1124), calling on states to pass safe harbor laws, and Senators Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) and Mark Kirk’s (R-IL) “Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act” (S.Amdt 273), addressing the online exploitation of victims.

In the end, 14 additional trafficking amendments were included as part of the overall JVTA package.

The JVTA package will now be sent to the House where we hope it will be taken up and passed quickly.